Monday, November 11, 2013

The Tale of My Spring and Summer

This year has been a whirlwind - to say the least. Life has "just happened," and I didn't get much of a chance to document it.

Let's see. My spring was wrecked with a reoccurrence of mono (re: extremely dizzy in mile 8 of zane grey 50. re: I've never dropped from a race at mile 8 before).

(Photo by Megan Powers Galope)

So, I spent the summer in self doubt, questioning my ability as a runner. Note: this really isn't the way to go into a hard 100k (Waldo) and turn around two weeks later into an even harder 100 miler. But I pulled myself up by my bootstraps, ended all pity parties, and began my 100-mile, 100-degree summer training. 

Just when the heat was getting to me, I got the opportunity to spend a week up in Flagstaff for the Adidas XC Camp. The week was truly awesome. On any given day, as a mom and partner, my days are spent fitting running in (between meals, pick-up, quality time), and that week was all about running. I struggled up at altitude but found my groove towards the end of the week. 

(we even had a spectator trip to the Grand Canyon at the XC Camp)

Then, once again, a bump in the road. Tendinitis. Ugh. I took two weeks off running. Two weeks at a time when I should have been ramping up for Waldo in a big way. Two weeks that I couldn't afford. Two weeks. 

So it was time for plan B. I was still going to try to give Waldo my everything, but I had to be honest with myself - I wasn't ready. So, my new goal was to give everything I had at Waldo, and use it as a good training run for Wasatch. 

Waldo weekend was awesome. We traveled with the Danek's. We stayed in a pretty cabin next to the lake about 10 minutes from the start. 

The race was beautiful. It was one of the most scenic and awesome races I've ever done - and let's not kid ourselves, I'm not traveling over to Europe every other day, but still. I hung on to third all day - fairly far from first and second. Towards the end I started having nutritional issues (i.e. not being able to pee), but I took care of myself and got back on track to run hard at the end. 

Was I happy with the race. Yes. Considering I ran all of 40 miles in three weeks before the race, I was immensely happy. Could I have done better? Absolutely. I want to go back to Waldo and have a better race. Besides - who wouldn't want to hang by the lake for their pre-race meal. 

Now back onto the beast of Wasatch. It's a bitch. The last 25 miles are hard as hell, and in the 2.5 weeks between Waldo and Wasatch, I was working on recovering. Wasatch is all guts, and I was all in. 

Sabrina and I made the drive up Wednesday night, and rolled into SLC on Thursday morning. I got some much needed sleep Thursday, and we rolled into the start. 

The race was hot - highs of like 85-90. I knew I could work with this. The beginning 30-40 miles I spent conserving my energy. When I entered the "canyons," I started to work hard. I passed a bunch of people and managed to get myself into 2nd female. Then it hit - I overworked myself. Heat+Altitude=Suckfest. I put myself in a hole and a deficit. 

So, I think I was down about 7 pounds at Lamb's. Great. I walked out of Lamb's and took it easy for a while - really hoping to get up on calories and nutrition. Although in hindsight, I should have really tried to push it - the last 25 are slow and hard. When I hit Brighton, I fueled up and headed up. I was still in 2nd. Then, on the climb up, some woman blasted up the climb in front of me, talking, laughing, in great spirits. This was not me. I was trying - trying to turn myself around, but it was tough. In the last 25 miles, I had some moments. I couldn't see, I couldn't catch my footing, I couldn't catch the woman in front of me. Dang. I'm glad I had James with me. 

As we turned unto the last 6 miles, I was amazed. I was doing this, and I was doing this about 3 hours faster than last year. The road turned smooth, and after and slight uphill we cruised downhill. However, I was being chased, so I cruised faster. We clicked off miles at what seemed like sub 7 pace (Although it was probably more like sub 10). I finished. 3rd woman and felt wrecked. Run Wasatch and watch that race tear you inside out. 

The end of September came, and I got to marry this handsome guy:

A week later, I had a minor surgery (silly ovarian cysts), and I was out of running for two weeks. Sometimes I'd wake up with a dog on my face. But I did get to watch Breaking Bad from start to finish. Win. 

Now I am ramping my miles up - slowly, but surely. I am in the throws of November - which for a grad student and teacher mean the throws of hell, but I'm running consistently. I'm looking forward to the Rocky Raccoon 100 - where I'll try to qualify for Western and PR my 100 miler (which is currently 23:47 and was at the AC 100). 

And that, my friends, is the story of my long Spring and Summer.